Dallas County Historical Markers

Texas Lakes Trail Region

Map of Dallas County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Sam Bass Train Robbery | Near Homesite of Belle Boyd | John H. Brown, Maj. | Brown, John Henry | Bryan, John Neely | California Crossing | Central National Road | Cherokees in Dallas | Old City Park | Old City Park | Dallas County | Dawdy's Ferry | Farmers Branch Historical Park | Gano, General Richard M. | Micajah Goodwin Log Cabin | Jordan - Bowles House | Kleberg | Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame Museum | Penn Springs | A.W. Perry Homestead Museum | Preston Road | Reagh, Frank | Scyene Road, Old | Slaughter, Colonel C.C. | Steel Dust | Tower, John Goodwin

David Carey Nance moved to Texas in 1852 when he was nine years old. He recalls frontier life in southwest Dallas County:

David Carey Nance Description of Frontier Dallas County

Sam Bass Train Robbery

Marker Title: Sam Bass Train Robbery
City: Mesquite
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: in Heritage Plaza, 200 block of W. Main near flag pole
Marker Text: Sam Bass -- with Seab Barnes, Hank Underwood, "Arkansas" Johnson, and Frank Jackson -- held up a Texas & Pacific train here, April 10, 1878. They took $152, but missed hidden shipment of $30,000. In planning a bank robbery 3 months later, Bass was fatally shot by rangers.

Near Homesite of Belle Boyd

Marker Title: Near Homesite of Belle Boyd
Address: City Park
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: History Center, in City Park at S. Ervay and Pocahontas, Dallas.
Marker Text: (1844 - 1900) Famous as a Confederate spy during the Civil War, Marie Isabella Boyd resided at a stately colonial mansion near this site in the 1880s. One of the most effective of spies, the slender, blonde girl was only 17 when the Civil War began in 1861. Her passionate devotion to the South and to chivalry indirectly started her career when, in a fit of rage, she shot and killed a Union soldier who threatened her mother. While briefly confined at her Georgia estate, Belle was kept under watch by Federal officers, but so charming and friendly was she that they unwittingly divulged many secrets-- which soon found their way into Confederate hands. Her activities led to several prison sentences and finally exile from the United States. In England Belle married S.W. Hardinge, a Union naval officer of southern sympathies. They had one daughter. After Hardinge's untimely death, she returned to this country to become famous again, as a lecturer and a dramatic reader. In New Orleans in 1869, she married noted businessman J.S. Hammond. With their three children they later moved to Dallas, where they lived for some time. In 1884 they were divorced and in 1887, Belle sold this house. She died in 1900.

John H. Brown, Maj.

Marker Title: John H. Brown, Maj.
Address: Greenwood Cemetery
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: gravesite is in Greenwood Cemetery (3020 Oak Grove) at the corner of Love and Gracy Ave., Dallas.
Marker Text: Maj. John H. Brown Star and Wreath Famed Indian fighter, Confederate officer, commanded Texas' 3rd Frontier District, member 1875 Constitutional Convention. Erected by the State of Texas 1963

John Henry Brown

Marker Title: John Henry Brown
Address: Greenwood Cemetery
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Text: Star and Wreath John Henry Brown 1820 - 1895 Frontier Indian fighter in Somervell Expedition 1842-43. Editor, author, Texas legislator 1855-57, 1873. Prominent seccessionist. Major Confederate Army in Indian Territory, Missouri. Adjutant General in Texas. Commander Texas Third Frontier District 1863 created to protect frontier from Indian attack, renegades, deserters. Member of 1875 Texas Constitutional Convention to end Texas reconstruction era. Erected by the State of Texas 1963

Bryan, John Neely

Marker Title: Bryan, John Neely (1810-1877) and
Address: Dealey Plaza
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1978
Marker Location: Bryan Colonnade, dealey Plaza, Elm & Houston, Dallas.
Marker Text: JOHN NEELY BRYAN, 1810-1877 AND MARGAET BEEMAN BRYAN, 1825-1919 In 1839 Tennessee lawyer John Neely Bryan chose this high bluff and shallow ford on the Trinity River as site for a trading post. Finding Indians scarce when he returned in 1844, he platted a town, installed a ferry, and called the place Dallas. In the 1840s, the Republic of Texas opened its Central National Road from here to the U.S. border, and drew settlers to this area with liberal land grants. Margaret Beeman was a daughter of John Beeman, a prosperous man from Illinois, of North Carolina heritage. At 15, she met Bryan at the Cross Roads Camp Ground, Bowie County. Her father staked his claim about eight miles from Bryan's town. She and Bryan married in 1843, and became parents of six children. Margaret, her father, and other relatives strongly supported Bryan's work as "Father of Dallas." Bryan went to the California gold rush in 1849, but gained no fortune. After his return, he donated 98 city lots for a courthouse and county seat, then sold his ferry and remaining interest in the townsite. In poor health for many years, he died in Austin at 67. Margaret Beeman Bryan lived to age 94, and saw Dallas attain a population of over 150,000. 1978 Incise on base: A BICENTENNIAL PROJECT OF THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF DALLAS, INC., 1976

California Crossing

Marker Title: California Crossing
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: in California Crossing Park on California Crossing Road 2.5 miles west of Stemmons, off SH114, Dallas.
Marker Text: CALIFORNIA CROSSING (Some Five Hundred Feet North) Here thousands of 49'ers crossed Trinity River in heroic trek west--following California Gold discovery. Crossing was in shallow part of stream on Southern Transcontinental route to Pacific. Later used by stage lines, railroad; route passed through Dallas and Cedar Springs on to El Paso.

Central National Road

Marker Title: Central National Road
Address: Munger & Market Sts.
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: corner of Munger St. and Market Street; West End Historic District, Dallas.
Marker Text: During the early days of the Republic of Texas, settlers and pioneers coming from the United States entered Texas by crossing the Red River in northwest Red River County. On the north side of that crossing was the terminum of a U.S. Military Highway. In 1844, the Congress of the Republic of Texas appointed a commission to lay out a road connecting the crossing on the Red River to the Trinity River in central Dallas County. Surveyed by George W. Stell (1793-1870), the 130-mile road was to be thirty feet wide, with bridges at least fifteen feet wide, and all tree stumps cut within twelve inches of the ground. Congress named the new route the Central National Road. Passing through Lamar, Fannin, Hunt, Collin, and Rockwall counties, the road's terminus in Dallas intersected with the Preston Road (1,000 NNW), which had been opened in 1840 by a group of Texas soldiers under Col. William G. Cooke (1808-1847) to connect the Red River and Austin. The Central National Road, via its intersection in Dallas with the Preston-Austin Road, connected north and south Texas, creating greater access for pioneers to settle in all areas of the Republic. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 Incise on base: Sponsored by Thomas J. Rusk Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas

Cherokees in Dallas

Marker Title: Cherokees in Dallas
Address: 1717 Gano St.
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: in Old City Park at 1717 Gano St., Dallas
Marker Text: Ninety Cherokee Indians, led by Chief Bowles, immigrated to this area from Arkansas Territory in 1819, but were driven out 2 years later by hostile Indians who resented the intrusion. Remnants of group signed Treaty of Sept. 29, 1843, agreeing to respect the Republic of Texas and its settlers. 1968

Old City Park

Museum Name: Old City Park
Mailing Address: 1717 Gano
City: Dallas
Zip Code: 75215
Area Code: 214
Phone: 421-5141
County: Dallas
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Old City Park

Marker Title: Old City Park
Address: 1717 Gano St.
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Text: Indian tribes were once attracted to this park site by a series of natural springs, which became known as Browder Springs after Edward C. Browder (1825 - 1875) acquired the property in 1845. The springs figured in legislation which made Dallas the intersection of the Texas & Pacific and Houston & Texas Central Railroads in 1871 and launched the town's rapid growth. On July 4, 1876, to honor the American Centennial, ten acres near the springs were set aside as Dallas' first municipal park. "City Park" was also known as "Eakins Park" because J.J. Eakin originally owned the land. By 1885 nine more acres, including the Browder Springs property, were added. The springs supplied water to the city, and the park grounds provided a center for leisure activities and group gatherings. A neighborhood of elegant homes, called "The Cedars," grew up nearby. The city's first zoo was here; fountains, greenhouses, tennis courts, a playground and a wading pool were later added. In 1936 the site was renamed "Sullivan Park" for Dallas Water Commissioner Dan L. Sullivan, but it remained popularly known as "Old City Park." In 1966 the Dallas Park Board agreed to allow the Dallas County Heritage Society to revitalize the park as a "heritage center" of restored historic structures.

Dallas County

Marker Title: Dallas County
Address: Historical Plaza
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: Dallas County Historical Plaza (at Elm, Market & Main), Dallas.
Marker Text: Dallas County After Texas became a Republic in 1836, the Trinity River separated Robertson County to the west and Nacogdoches County to the east. This area, called "Three Forks" for the confluence of three branches of the Trinity, was settled mainly by Peters colonists after 1841. A town named Dallas was on this site by 1842. Its founder, John Neely Bryan, led efforts to create Dallas County in 1846, which included the settlements of Dallas, Cedar Springs, Farmers Branch, and Hord's Ridge. The Legislature possibly named the county for George Mifflin Dallas (1792 - 1864), then vice president of the United States. The town of Dallas was confirmed as county seat by election in 1850. The 1850 census showed 2,743 settlers in the county, most of whom were farmers. Railroads came in the 1870s and the population leaped in 1880 to 33,488, one-third living in the City of Dallas. In 1885 farmland sold for $15 per acre; by 1920, with cotton prices briefly soaring, farmland was worth $300 per acre. Railroads, interurban lines, and highways aided the urbanization of the county, which accelerated during the 1930s depression. After World War II the county became primarily urban. In 1980 the county population was 1,556,549, less than two per cent rural. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986

Dawdy's Ferry

Marker Title: Dawdy's Ferry
Address: New Dawdy Ferry Road
City: Hutchins
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: Dawdy Ferry Road, about 1.3 miles E of IH-45 (right before bridge on N side of road), Hutchins.
Marker Text: Illinois native Alanson Dawdy (1826 - 1901) came to Dallas County in 1847. In 1854, he was granted a license to operate a ferry at this site on the Trinity River, the southernmost crossing at the time. An important route for citizens living on both sides of the river, the ferry continued in operation until about 1876. Ferry charges included one dollar for a wagon with four or more animals, ten cents for a man and horse, and five cents for a person on foot. The first permanent bridge was installed at this site in 1888. Dawdy was a veteran of the Mexican and Civil Wars. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986

Farmers Branch Historical Park

Museum Name: Farmers Branch Historical Park
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 819010
City: Farmers Branch
Zip Code: 75381 9010
Street Address: 2540 Farmers Branch Lane
Area Code: 972
Phone: 406-0184
County: Dallas
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

General Richard M. Gano

Marker Title: General Richard M. Gano (C.S.A.)
Address: Oakland Cemetery
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: S. Oakland St.(take main road, turn left at circle, marker is on left).
Marker Text: Organized Tarrant County Grapevine Volunteers known as Gano's Squadron. Entered 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, C.S.A. in Tennessee. In Morgan's 1st and 2nd Kentucky raids. Made Colonel in command of 7th Kentucky Cavalry. Fought in Tullahoma, Tenn. Campaign 1863. Brigadier General of Gano's Brigade of Texas Frontier Cavalry fighting in Arkansas, campaign 1864. Captured $1,500,000 worth of Union supplies at Cabin Creek, Indian Territory. Erected by the State of Texas 1963 (back side Richard M. Gano) Richard Montgomery Gano (1830 - 1913) Born Kentucky; came to Texas 1839. Frontier Indian fighter, State Legislator 1860-1861, Brigadier General C.S.A., entered the ministry, and active in United Confederate Veterans

Star & Wreath (actual placed marker) Richard M. Gano, C.S.A. In Morgan's raids, KY, Tenn. Commanded Gano's Brigade Texas Cavalry, in ARK. Captured Union train with $1,500,000 stores. Erected by the State of Texas 1965

Micajah Goodwin Log Cabin

Marker Title: Micajah Goodwin Log Cabin
Address: Cottonwood Park
City: Grand Prairie
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1981
Marker Location: 1400 block of S. Carrier Pkwy.
Marker Text: Micajah Goodwin Log Cabin Pioneer settler Micajah Goodwin migrated with his family to Texas from Alabama in the 1840s. A native of Georgia, he settled in this vicinity on a Republic of Texas land grant in the Peters Colony. He constructed this log cabin on his property in 1846. The original site was in the Watson community of Tarrant County, now northwestern Grand Prairie. Goodwin's residence was built of squared post oak timbers, secured by the use of the Tennessee notching technique. The construction method allowed the house to be self-supporting without the use of nails or other fasteners. The interior featured a fireplace used for cooking and heating. An early Tarrant County resident, Goodwin was also active in the early development of Dallas County. Other settlers began moving here following the Civil War when rail lines were first built to the area. In 1874 the town of Dechman, which became Grand Prairie, was platted by A.M. Dechman. According to legend, Goodwin's home was used in the 1930s as a hiding place by outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Later surrounded by urban growth, it was moved to this site in 1975 as a reminder fo the area's early pioneers.

Jordan - Bowles House

Marker Title: Jordan - Bowles House
Address: 705 NE 28th
City: Grand Prairie
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Text: Built about 1860 of hand-hewn logs from bottomland of Trinity River. The builder, David Jordan (1808 -79), came to Texas about 1859, moving his household by wagon from Tennessee. A farmer, he also kept a store and a stage stand on the Dallas-Fort Worth Road. At that time Indian raids were frequent, and the outlaw gang of Sam Bass was suspected of committing an 1870 hold-up here. In 1886 Victor Bowles bought property, which remained in his family for 65 years. Miss Minnie Bowles remodeled house in 1948 and in 1951 donated it to city. Now museum and meeting place.

Kleberg

Marker Title: Kleberg
Address: 1500 block of Edd Rd.
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: Kleberg/Rylie Recreation Center
Marker Text: The town of Kleberg began in 1850 on the land grant of Robert Justus Kleberg (1803 - 1888), veteran of the Republic of Texas Army and a participant in the Battle of San Jacinto. Originally a stage stop where two wagon trails crossed, Kleberg grew into a farming community. After the railroad came in 1881, the town boasted a post office, bank, and a number of retail businesses. The construction of a series of dams and locks on the Trinity River provided jobs in the early 1900s but a 1908 flood destroyed the work. Incorporated in 1956, Kleberg was annexed by Dallas in 1978.

Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame Museum

Museum Name: Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame Museum
Street Address: 105 Broad Street
City: Mesquite
Zip Code: 75149
Area Code: 214
Phone: 285-5444
County: Dallas
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives, Other

Penn Springs

Marker Title: Penn Springs
Address: Danieldale Rd. and Penn Springs Rd.
City: Duncanville
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1982
Marker Text: This area was an important early campsite and watering spot for Indians and pioneer settlers. Two springs formed a natural pool which served as a landmark for wagon trains and cattle drives on the Shawnee Trail. In the 1850s the site was settled by the family of Maj. John Penn of Illinois, who had first visited here in 1848. On July 4, 1882, Penn Springs was the scene of a Confederate reunion of Parson's Texas Cavalry. Owned by Penn Family members until 1895, the springs have continued to play an important role in the development of Duncanville.

A.W. Perry Homestead Museum

Museum Name: A.W. Perry Homestead Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 110535
City: Carrollton
Zip Code: 75011 0535
Street Address: 1509 North Perry Road
Area Code: 972
Phone: 446-0442
County: Dallas
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Preston Road

Marker Title: Preston Road
Address: 6000 Preston Rd.
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: (in front of YMCA)
Marker Text: Named for Ft. Preston, built 1841at best ford on upper Red River (N. of here). Followed pre-Columbian Indian trail. Republic of Texas staked out road to fort from Austin. "Preston Road" later served as cattle trail from ford of Trinity River at Dallas to Oklahoma Border.

Frank Reagh

Marker Title: Frank Reagh
Address: 122 E. 5th Street
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: 122 E. 5th Street
Marker Text: Artist Frank Reagh (1860-1945), who immortalized the Texas longhorn, began sketching and studying his favorite subject in 1876 when he and his parents, George W. and Clarinda Reaugh, moved from Illinois to Kaufman County. He studied art in St. Louis and Europe but returned to the Texas prairie for inspiration. The family came (1890) to Dallas where Reaugh became influential through his teaching and interest in the arts. He built "El Sibil" as studio and home in 1928. His pastels of frontier Texas cattle, lauded by historians, can be seen in many Texas cities.

Scyene Road, Old

Marker Title: Scyene Road, Old
Address: 9500 Blk. Scyene Rd.
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1977
Marker Location: at Belle Starr Dr.
Marker Text: Once a buffalo trail, Scyene Road was one of the earliest roads in Dallas County. It linked the community of Scyene with Dallas, one day's journey by wagon to the west, and with Jefferson and Shreveport to the east. Named for a town in ancient Egypt, Scyene was settled in the 1840s and 1850s. During the 1870s, Belle Starr and other outlaws, including Jesse James, lived here and traveled this road. A thriving town with a post office, stores, school, and churches, Scyene declined after it was bypassed by the Texas & Pacific Railroad in 1872.

Colonel C.C. Slaughter

Marker Title: Colonel C.C. Slaughter
Address: Greenwood Cemetery
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: at corner of Cove Ave. and Glory Ave., 3020 Oak Grove
Marker Text: Christopher Columbus Slaughter was the first native born cattle king of Texas. While living on the west Texas frontier he was a ranger, Confederate beef supplier, and trail driver. His ranching empire, including the Long S and Lazy S ranches, totaled over one million acres. In the early 1870s he moved to Dallas, where he founded, and was an officer in, three early banks. An initiator of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Assn., he was also noted for his philanthropy to Baptist schools, churches, and hospitals, especially Baylor Hospital.

Steel Dust

Marker Title: Steel Dust
Address: ML King Dr. & Coliseum Dr.
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Text: 19th century Texas frontier champion who became foundation sire for the most popular quarter horse strain of the 20th century. A Virginia type horse foaled by a Kentucky thoroughbred mare, Steel Dust was brought in 1844 as a colt to the Texas Republic by settlers Middleton Perry and Jones Greene. On Ten Mile Creek (near Lancaster, SE of Dallas) at the farm track of Thomas McKee Ellis, father-in-law of his owners, Steel Dust outran all challengers. He was about 16 hands high and so quick that his jockey coated his back with molasses in order to stay on. Steel Dust won a spectacular race in McKinney against local favorite Monmouth in 1855; soon afterward defeated Brown Dick, from Hopkins County. Later in 1855, going against Shiloh, a horse from Tennessee, Steel Dust was hurt at the starting gate. He soon went blind, never raced again, but survived at stud for years. The famed King Ranch in south Texas began to use breeding lines from Steel Dust and Shiloh in 1916, winning many honors at the State Fair of Texas. From this ranch has come stock for circuses, rodeos, and polo teams. The American Quarter Horse Association was formed in 1940. Quarter horses are now as much in demand for racing as for farm and ranch work.

John Goodwin Tower

Marker Title: John Goodwin Tower
City: Dallas
County: Dallas
Year Marker Erected: 1999
Marker Location: Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, 7405 S. Northwest Highway
Marker Text: (1925-1991) The son of a Methodist minister, John Goodwin Tower was a veteran of World War II and a political science professor before entering politics. He joined the national political scene in 1960-1961 when he won the special election to fill Lyndon B. Johnson's U.S. Senate seat, becoming the first Republican senator from Texas since Reconstruction. Tower served in the Senate for 24 years, holding a number of influential committee assignments and chairmanships. He became the chief United States negotiator at the strategic arms reduction talks in Geneva after his retirement from the Senate in 1985. He later chaired the Tower Commission, which issued its report on the Iran-Contra Affair in 1987. Tower was serving as an advisor to President George Bush at the time of his death in an airplane crash. (1999)

Dallas

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